Keeping Busy

I’ve been doing a quite a bit of reading this week.  I just finished up reading The Daily 5 by “The Sisters”.  What a great book!  It is going to completely change the literacy block in my fourth grade classroom this year.  One of the main things I picked up from this book is how to help the kiddos become independent, and how to increase their stamina for reading and writing.  All while letting them read and write about what they are interested in.  I also just downloaded a copy of The CAFE Book by the same authors.  At first I thought Daily 5 and CAFE were two separate things.  However, after asking a few questions of my twitter PLN, I’ve realized that they can be used together.  The Daily 5 is how to structure your literacy block, whereas The CAFE Book is about structures to teach comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expanding vocabulary.  I plan on reading this and then decide what changes I will need to make to modify my literacy block for the upcoming year.

I have also begun reading The Passion Driven Classroom.  What a true gem!  I cannot put this book down.  It is changing the way I think about the learners that I teach.  I’m looking forward to finishing this one over the next week or so.  I’ll let you know what I learn in another post.

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Up For the Challenge

My summer vacation has begun!  For the first few weeks, I took it easy and enjoyed all of the extra time that I had to play with my 1 year old son.  My husband was off on vacation for one week also, and the three of us enjoyed out time together immensely.  But, for the last two weeks it has just been me and my little man again.  Don’t get me wrong he keeps me VERY busy.  I imagine that all of this running after him will help me shed a few pounds.  🙂  However, there are times during the day while he is napping or playing on his own that I have nothing to do.  Well, instead of sitting around watching TV shows that I don’t really care about, or checking in on Facebook every 5 minutes, I have decided to be productive this summer.

How you may ask?  Well, I have decided to keep myself busy by checking in with my PLN, and joining in on a few summer challenges.  This idea first started with a tweet that I read from @plnaugle on Twitter about the #JJAProject.  Basically the challenge is to take and post a picture each day from June to August and add it to the group Flickr page.  I am not a professional photographer by any means.  Nor do I plan on becoming one.  But, I do enjoy taking photos.  I have really enjoyed doing this, and I find myself thinking more and more about how to make my photos better.

The next thing I have signed on for is The Passion Driven Classroom book club.  After hearing many great reviews for Angela Maiers and Amy Sandvold’s book, I couldn’t wait to get my copy.  From what I’ve read so far, I can tell that this book is going to change the way I do things next year.  If you’re interested in joining the book club, click here.

And, as if that isn’t enough, I’ve also signed up the the Teacher Challenge supported by Edublogs.  This was recommended to me by Sheri Edwards, and Denise Krebs, two teachers that I have met through the #JJAProject.  The focus of this challenge is 30 Days to a Whole New PLN

So there you have it, it looks like I’m going to be keeping pretty busy over the next few months.  For now, I’m going to stick with just these 3 things.

What are your plans for the summer?  How are you going to challenging yourself?

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